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Agate Hunting Leads to a New Type of Treasure..
I recently had the privilege of interviewing Tim Blair. Tim is a Washington state beachcomber who has made an intentional quest to map out the Olympic peninsula in search for good beaches producing interesting treasures for beachcombers.
Tim mentioned his family moved to the Puget Sound area in 2002 but as many of us do focused mainly on life’s daily rat race not fully appreciating the beauty of the natural surroundings. Friends later sparked a renewed interest to begin exploring the beaches in the area when they bought a house in Ocean Shores, WA on the tip of the peninsula that looks out on the water.
After attending a local craft fair Tim discovered that Damon Point beach at Ocean Shores held many treasures that he might enjoy hunting for. He stated, “Agates were out there and only needed someone to hunt for them! So each trip out to Ocean Shores I tried to set aside some time for the hike out onto the Damon Point peninsula and wow did I begin to find many treasures. This particular beach acted like a type of rake that gathered in the treasures as they were swept out to sea after being washed down out of the local mountains and river”.
It was a few years ago that Tim began contemplating making an intentional attempt to begin mapping the Puget Sound, and the Olympic Peninsula area in search of good beaches that may provide interesting treasures for a beach comber. He began taking his days off to go on exploratory trips in search of good access points and locations. Tim’s true passion initially was to locate good beaches for agate hunting but would later discover a new treasure would soon consume his hunting trips.
In the later part of 2015 he made a trip up to Port Townsend, WA in search for a good place for agates. Tim stated, “That day I went on a hike heading east from the parking lot and found a great beach covered with many rocks. I did find one great agate specimen embedded up against the sandy bank and very interesting bright green piece of sea glass with several holes running through it. It appeared to be an old florists glass frog used for arranging flowers. Upon my way back to the parking lot I did notice that the beach there continued in a westerly direction but the point immediately west of the parking lot looked rocky and not very wide. I wondered what could be out that direction on North Beach. It didn't seem very promising and not very passable as the tide was rising. So, I went home and began doing a little internet homework to find out if there was anything interesting about North Beach that I might learn. “
Tim noted that his internet search uncovered several blogs about the North Beach area and an intriguing place called "Glass Beach" beyond a McCurdy Point that was formally the local town landfill area until the 1960s, some websites even mentioned sea glass that could be found there. This peaked more interest in further exploration out that way.
He also began exploring the whole realm of sea glass and the informative websites that described the rarity, qualities and types. Tim said, “This new type of treasure would be something quite interesting to explore and begin a new hunt for local beaches that contained these gems made by man but shaped by God. “
In January of 2016 Tim made his first hike out on North Beach heading to McCurdy Point. After several hours of difficult climbing and avoiding the waves due to high tide conditions he made it out to McCurdy point and onto Glass Beach area proper.
Tim said, “I began exploring the rock beds that were exposed as the high tide receded. Many pieces of sea glass began appearing with every scoop of rocks. The pile of sea glass within my pockets just exploded as I realized I had hit the mother lode of sea glass.”
Since then Tim has made his way to a few other beaches to explore for sea glass treasures but has not found any other beaches as bountiful and with the same quality of sea glass as the North Beach hike out to Glass Beach. Because of the tide conditions or storms the beach is always different. Tim says, “Every day is a good day to be on the beach and combing for treasures!”
When I asked Tim what was his best find he said, “…a large piece of red sea glass, and a large cobalt blue piece." With his new found love for sea glass hunting he now focuses on the more rare colors like cobalt blue, yellows, pinks, aquas and sea foam greens . Once in awhile he has also found a marble or two on the beach. Marbles are very rare to find but do make for an exciting moment of discovery.
Tim has made several videos about sea glass, the North Beach hike and the cautions a sea glass hunter needs to be aware of if going to that area. Below is one of Tim’s videos. You can find others on his YouTube channel “Tim Blair”.
A special thank you goes out to Tim Blair for taking the time to answer a few of our questions.
You Tube link below